There weren’t many surprises during this year’s Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, but there were some interesting tidbits, from a cable-industry perspective.
If you had to bet which cable network would receive the most Golden Globe and SAG nominations for original scripted programming, most people would have picked HBO, FX or AMC.
This year, though, that distinction goes to Showtime. The pay service garnered 12 combined Golden Globe and SAG nominations for scripted series Nurse Jackie, Dexter, The Big C and The United States of Tara.
It was great to see new scripted cable series The Walking Dead, The Big C and Boardwalk Empire get some recognition - no new broadcast-network show earned a Globe or SAG nomination - but it was disappointing to see other new series like HBO’s Tremé ignored by Golden Globe voters.
It’s hard to believe that Bryan Cranston received his first Golden Globe nomination for his leading role as a meth-producing high school teacher Walt White on AMC’s Breaking Bad. Maybe his recent Emmy win in the same category had something to do with it.
Cable’s programming diversity was also recognized with the Golden Globe nomination for African-American actor Idris Elba for his work as a gritty detective in BBC America’s psychological thriller mini-series Luther and Edgar Ramirez for his portrayal of Venezuelan revolutionary Ilich Ramírez Sánchez in Sundance Channel’s Carlos.
The most interesting Screen Actors Guild nomination was for 88-year old Betty White, who earned a best comedy actress nod for her lead character in TV Land’s inaugural scripted series Hot in Cleveland.
Kyra Sedgwick copped both Globe and SAG nominations for best drama actress and her TNT show, The Closer, earned a much-deserved SAG nomination for best drama series.
While earning a Globes or SAG nomination isn’t the same as winning an actual award, the cable industry’s more than 65 combined Golden Globe and SAG Awards nominations shows that cable networks continue to produce the most innovative programming.